Five kinds of ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied fruit

Iran Daily - - Science & Technology -

New va­ri­eties of fruit cre­ated through ge­netic edit­ing and en­gi­neer­ing prom­ise to beat dis­ease and of­fer en­tic­ing new fla­vors.

In a re­port by the­guardian.com some of these new kinds of ge­net­i­cally edited fruit are pre­sented.

Toma­toes

It was re­ported this week that Brazil­ian sci­en­tists are hop­ing to cre­ate spicy toma­toes us­ing Crispr gene-edit­ing tech­niques. Al­though toma­toes con­tain the genes for cap­sai­ci­noids (the chem­i­cals that give chilies their heat) they are dor­mant — Crispr could be used to make them ac­tive.

This is de­sir­able be­cause, com­pared to toma­toes, chilies are dif­fi­cult to farm — and cap­sai­ci­noids have other use­ful ap­pli­ca­tions be­sides their fla­vor — in pep­per spray for ex­am­ple.

Ba­nanas

Ge­net­i­cally edited ba­nanas could be re­sis­tant to a dis­ease known as ‘fusar­ium wilt’ that has been at­tack­ing plan­ta­tions across the globe. Re­searchers at the Nor­wich-based startup Tropic Bio­sciences are us­ing ge­need­it­ing tech­niques to de­velop a new, more re­silient ver­sion of the fruit af­ter se­cur­ing £7.5 mil­lion from in­vestors.

Straw­ber­ries

Sweeter and even peach-fla­vored straw­ber­ries are be­ing worked on by US sci­en­tists us­ing Crispr tech­niques. Due to an EU court rul­ing last year, Crispred­ited foods will be sub­ject to the same reg­u­la­tion that has lim­ited the plant­ing and sale of ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied crops. A ma­jor player in the devel­op­ment of Crispr crops is the agri­cul­tural gi­ant Mon­santo.

Ap­ples

The Arc­tic ap­ple is a fruit en­gi­neered to re­sist brown­ing af­ter be­ing cut. Cur­rently they are only avail­able in the US — in golden, fuji and gala va­ri­eties — where they have been given Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion ap­proval. If ap­proved in Europe, they would have to be la­beled as ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied. The man­u­fac­tur­ers claim the main ben­e­fit is to help cut down on food waste.

Pa­payas

Amer­i­can phy­topathol­o­gist, Den­nis Gon­salves, de­vel­oped the ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied Rain­bow pa­paya, which can de­fend it­self from pa­paya ring spot dis­ease by in­sert­ing a gene from the virus into the fruit’s ge­netic code. The Rain­bow pa­paya was in­tro­duced in 1992, and is cred­ited with sav­ing Hawaii’s $11-mil­lion pa­paya in­dus­try.

DARRIN ZAMMIT LUPI/REUTERS

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